One question we often get at Just Resolve is about the role of attorneys in the Just Resolve process. In short, Just Resolve delivers an alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) service that does not require lawyer participation. However, Just Resolve is useful for client centric lawyers (those who care more about their client’s best interests than short term legal fees) even if their services are not required. This article will explain several ways Just Resolve’s method can be used to further these lawyers’ client relationships.
Just Resolve’s method is a better option for lawyers faced with a case that doesn’t warrant the time and effort of litigation. Lawyers have long used other “traditional” ADR methods for cases they feel can be resolved more efficiently or effectively than by going to court. However, in contrast with traditional ADR methods, Just Resolve also allows lawyers to step back into an advisory role or even remove themselves entirely from a case.
Most lawyers have to deal with cases that I will refer to as “dogs.” Dogs are those cases that wastefully drain lawyer and client resources. These cases can cost more than they are worth or they can be unwinnable from the outset. Lawyers usually can recognize these cases early on, but whether it is because they feel obligated to their client, or the client insists, or because they want to ensure future business, they may take the cases anyway. Alternatively, they may refuse to take such cases, risking the client’s disappointment and possible switch to another lawyer. Instead of making a “no-win” choice, client centric lawyers can use Just Resolve to save time, money and peace of mind for themselves and their clients.
Just Resolve helps lawyers handle dog cases in at least two different ways. The first is through an early neutral evaluation in which lawyers suggest to their clients (or opposing counsel) that instead of immediately going down a path towards litigation, they first get an independent evaluation of the worthiness of their claim. Not only does this process give clients the opportunity to hear an impartial view of their claims, it also reveals potential strengths and weaknesses. (The early neutral evaluation is not just useful for dog cases; it is also a powerful tool for lawyers to use before beginning litigation to get for the client an impartial view on the strength of a case.)
The second way to help deal with dog cases is to refer them to Just Resolve for a swift, fair resolution at a fraction of the financial value at stake. Encouraging clients, prospective clients and opposing counsel to consider a resolve enables client centric lawyers to save their clients and themselves a lot of time, stress and money, all while assuring economic justice. Since these cases are not profitable for anyone involved, it is likely that clients will accept recommendations to a binding process that achieves this outcome and still allows them to be heard and protect their rights. As for the lawyers, by being willing to limit their involvement and suggest a better way in cases that are hard to justify pursuing, lawyers can better serve their clients and are likely to save or improve client trust – even if the client or other side rejects such a common sense path.
Ultimately, Just Resolve’s unique dispute resolution method is a valuable tool and resource for all lawyers to have at their disposal. Even if it only serves as a way to manage or avoid “dog” cases without risking the loss of valuable clients, Just Resolve can keep both lawyers and their clients from barking up the wrong tree.